Friday, October 18, 2013

We are still a home learning family

We live in a province that gives us amazing freedoms with our children's education. We have your normal standard brick and mortar schools that most of us grew up attending. We have publicly funded speciality schools, environmental, traditional, alternative, arts based, Waldorf, Montessori and Christian. We can also teach at home through various distance learning( DL) programs. Where you have to report to a teacher on a regular basis and work with a curriculum of their or your own choosing. These distance learning programs are funded and either designated as either public or independent schools. With these some programs offer even partial days of school or classes for the students, some at a cost and some included in your enrolment. Finally we also have the options of being Section 12 registered, where you simply let a school of your choosing know that you are home with your child so they can be counted for numbers. You are then completely free to do what you want with your child.

They are so many options sometimes it is hard to decide what you want to do. For us it came down to I wanted to keep my children home. I still wanted the freedom of choosing our curriculum, but the funding from a DL was necessary in order for us to be able to offer them the extra enrichment programs. Now we don't do anything fancy but having memberships to Science world and the zoo and being able to attend various art and music classes are important to my boys. Being able to put them into swimming lessons go rock climbing, Beavers or other things that come up are important. Unfortunately the budgets only goes so far with kids, and things like food and shoes need to take priority. In case you haven't noticed kids classes are super expensive. I didn't realize how expensive at first but they sure are. $200 for one art class is very standard and that is only for 8 classes. This is why I needed to choose the DL route. I found a program that respects my child's needs and encourages me to follow his lead and let them show me what interests them.

We are very lucky with our program, we have freedom in education in our province that most don't. The freedoms we have with being able to just be registered is not available to many others. The government wants some sort of knowledge and /or accountability, not sure why but that is how it works. I was reading a post  the other day about how if you are enrolled in any various programs that you are not truly a homeschooling family. That got my back up a bit because while yes we have a teacher that we talk with for us it is really no different than the boys talking to a friend about what they are doing. Yes there is more reporting and we are not totally free and off the grid, we are still schooling our children at home according to what we want to do. Now yes there are some programs out there that are much stricter with very particular requirements. We were in one, it wasn't for us.

My thing is no matter how you decide to do home learning for your children, whether it be online or completely alone. You are still at home with your children day in and day out, teaching them. You are infact homeschooling. Sure the government may have a different term but don't they have that for everything? You teach your children and i'll teach mine. We are both doing the same things, teaching our children with love and trust in an environment that fosters their needs.

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